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Comprehensive coverage of the food industry's latest, breaking news brought to you by just-food's leading network of international journalists.

BRICs and beyond: E-tail in China

Alibaba Group's massive IPO has underlined that the e-commerce trade in China is booming. Significantly for packaged food manufacturers, onl...

just the facts: Alibaba

The successful completion of Alibaba Group's listing on the New York stock exchange has placed the firm - and e-commerce in China more broad...

How City reacted to Tesco's profit over-statement

Tesco seems to be lurching from one bad news story to another. The UK retailer today (22 September) admitted it had over-stated half-year pr...

ConAgra confident private-label will improve

After a challenging previous financial year, ConAgra Foods yesterday (18 September) reported on the first three months of its new fiscal per...

M&A Watch: Why Danone/Lifeway deal could be on horizon 18 Sep 2014

Stefan Kirk, M&A advisors Glenboden

The over 25x EBITDA valuation in General Mills' recent acquisition of Annie's clears the path for Danone, a main rival in dairy, to pay top dollar for another innovative food business in the US, which it has targeted as a growth geography. A clear candidate is Lifeway Foods, in which Danone has had a stake for many years and which the French group could feasibly grow by three times within a few years.

DATA: The just-food international basket - Q2 2014 16 Sep 2014

Dean Best

In association with IRI, the just-food international basket shows the cost of a typical range of goods in eight markets every quarter. The data also outlines trends in branded and private-label pricing, as well as the volume sold on promotion.

Shopper trends: Signs of confidence but promotions centre stage 16 Sep 2014

Martin Wood, head of strategic insight - retail, IRI

There is a sense across a number of markets that consumer confidence is improving and the latest data from the just-food international basket, compiled exclusively by IRI, shows the total cost of a shop is, on average, increasing. However, consumers are buying more products on deal and the price gap between brands and own label is shrinking. IRI's Martin Wood crunches the numbers.

Focus: What could be impact of Heinz's stevia ketchup? 12 Sep 2014

Hannah Abdulla

In a move to win over the health-conscious, Heinz has launched a stevia-based variant of its flagship ketchup in the UK - which has half the sugar content of the conventional sauce. But is this yet another gimmick to cool pressures from health organisations wanting food firms to take responsibility for the impact of their products on the public's health? Or will it really gain traction with the UK public, and if so, will this be the start of a whole new range for Heinz? Hannah Abdulla explores

In the spotlight: General Mills turns to M&A to bolster US business 9 Sep 2014

Dean Best

The US accounts for the bulk of General Mills' business and, with its operations at home under pressure, the food giant has got out the chequebook to snap up local natural and organic food maker Annie's. But is it the right move? Dean Best investigates.

BRICs and beyond: International ambitions underpin BRF, Lactalis dairy deal 9 Sep 2014

Katy Askew

The proposed sale of BRF's Brazilian dairies unit to Lactalis-owned Parmalat looks set to be a win-win for both companies. BRF is focusing on improving the performance of its core meat operations and the group would leave the transaction better positioned to step up its expansion into international protein markets. Meanwhile, Lactalis will strengthen its hand in the promising Brazilian dairy sector, leaving the company well-placed as a global dairy powerhouse. Katy Askew reports.

On the money: City has faith in UK meat firm Hilton 9 Sep 2014

Dean Best

Shares in Hilton Food Group, the UK meat supplier, took a hit today (9 September) after the company issued a note of caution about its near-term outlook. However, in the main, City analysts believe in Hilton's fundamentals.

Focus: Can Kellogg rejuvenate its US cereal brands? 8 Sep 2014

Katy Askew

Over the past ten years, Kellogg has moved to reduce its reliance on the cereal aisle, with the Keebler and Pringes acquisitions opening up the world of snacking. However, with 45% of sales still generated in cereal - and a sizeable bulk of this coming from the US - concern is mounting over the firm's inability to turn around its fortunes in the market. Katy Askew reports.

Deal or no deal: Will United Biscuits owners float or sell? 5 Sep 2014

Katy Askew

Blackstone Group and PAI Partners are progressing with plans to offload UK Jacob's-to-McVitie's manufacturer United Biscuits. The question on everyone's lips is whether the business will be floated or sold. Katy Askew reports.

Focus: Oetker wants bigger slice of North American pizza 5 Sep 2014

Hannah Abdulla

Dr Oetker has taken over McCain Foods' North American pizza operations. But, with competition fierce and with growth in the sector hard to come by, has the German food giant made the right move? Hannah Abdulla explores.

Barclays Capital Back to School 2014: PepsiCo confident on US snacks despite slowing sales 4 Sep 2014

Katy Askew

PepsiCo is confident its US snacks business can deliver a best-in-class top-line performance despite its recent slowdown in sales growth.

On the move: Market hopes for refocused Danone under Faber 3 Sep 2014

Dean Best

Shares in Danone rose as the market reacted to the announcement of a change at the top of the French food group. After 18 years at the helm, Franck Riboud is to step down as CEO. Analysts believe his replacement, deputy CEO Emmanuel Faber, need to give Danone a renewed sense of focus to take the business to the next stage.

Focus: Fonterra looks to broaden innovation horizons 3 Sep 2014

Ben Cooper

New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra has joined with the Australian science agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), in a strategic research partnership in a bid to seek solutions from outside the dairy sector. Ben Cooper reports.

On the money: Mengniu brushes off concerns with "star" brand focus 28 Aug 2014

Katy Askew

China's largest dairy manufacturer China Mengniu Dairy has shrugged off investor concerns over margin pressure, insisting its strategy to raise investment behind "star" and growth brands will improve the group's long-term profitability profile. Katy Askew reports.

BRICs and beyond: Fonterra, Beingmate partnership formula for success 28 Aug 2014

Katy Askew

New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra and Chinese baby food maker Beingmate are to form a joint venture to try to capitalise on the exponential growth of the Chinese infant formula sector. With each partner bringing something very different to the table, Katy Askew suggests the new entity is well-placed to leverage the strengths of both.

Sustainability Watch: How will US biogas push affect food industry? 28 Aug 2014

Ben Cooper

An initiative launched under the auspices of President Obama's Climate Action Plan will see the government foster a major expansion of biogas use. Ben Cooper looks at the implications of the US government's Biogas Opportunities Roadmap for US food manufacturers.

On the money: Hormel still looking for M&A 22 Aug 2014

Dean Best

US group Hormel Foods has been busy looking for acquisitions in recent quarters, succeeding in some places and apparently being thwarted elsewhere. Announcing its third-quarter results yesterday (21 August), the Skippy peanut butter maker indicated it was ready to make more deals.

Shopper trends: FMCG sales under pressure despite economic green shoots 22 Aug 2014

Tim Eales, IRI

There are signs of economic recovery across much of Europe but grocery sales remain under pressure. IRI's Tim Eales analyses why and suggests how retailers and manufacturers can try to drive growth.

On the money: Hain Celestial eyes distribution gains, NPD for growth 20 Aug 2014

Katy Askew

Hain Celestial, the US natural and organic food group, has indicated it expects to drive continued organic growth in the coming year - even as it laps tough comparables - by expanding distribution and leveraging its innovation pipeline in the US and internationally.

On the money: Solid Lindt outpaces chocolate peers 19 Aug 2014

Dean Best

Lindt & Sprungli, the upmarket Swiss chocolate group, today (19 August) underlined why it is a business seen as one of the better performers in the sector.

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